Last Updated on March 26, 2022
This cranberry banana bread is packed with deliciously fresh and sweet flavors. And, it can easily be converted to be vegan and gluten-free!
This recipe is incredibly easy to make and you don’t need any special equipment or skills! You can even get the kids to help you with this one! And, to save you some meal prep time during the week, you can make this bread in advance. Simply freeze it for later use and thaw when ready to use. So, what are you waiting for?
What Is Cranberry Banana Bread? Why We Love This Recipe
If you have never made or simply tasted cranberry banana bread, then do yourself a favor and make this recipe immediately! This loaf of banana bread gives the classic traditional recipe a twist. Not that regular banana bread is bad, but there is always room for improvement!
We are obsessed with this recipe because it is very easy to make, doesn’t take up your entire day, and is extremely versatile. You can make the recipe completely vegan, allergy-free, or gluten-free. You can even simply substitute the fresh cranberries with another type of fruit.
Banana bread vs banana cake
Before we jump into the recipe, we felt that it is important to clarify that this is a recipe for banana bread, not banana cake.
Banana cakes are often made with lighter and airier flours that don’t have a high gluten content. Even though our recipe uses such flour, bread four can also be used for banana bread.
Furthermore, banana cake is decorated or served with frosting. This could be anything from cream cheese frosting, white chocolate buttercream icing, or sweetened whipped cream. Regular banana bread is served plain and focuses on the flavors.
What You Will Need To Make This Banana Bread With Cranberries
- 1 cup brown granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 3 medium bananas, ripe and mashed
- 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- Bread pan
- Non-stick baking paper or cooking spray
- Mixing bowls
- Electric hand or stand mixer
- Rubber or silicone spatula
- Cooling wire rack
Silicone Loaf Pan – Non-Stick Bread Baking Pan, 9 x 5 inch
Step By Step Tutorial For Making Banana And Cranberry Bread
Step 1: Prepare the equipment
First, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the oven rack in the middle. Next, line a bread pan with non-stick baking paper. Alternatively, spray it with non-stick baking or cooking spray.
Step 2: Make the batter
Start by creaming together the brown sugar and salted butter until it becomes light and fluffy. Then add the completely mashed banana and mix it in well.
Add the milk and eggs to the banana mixture. Keep mixing until you have a uniform batter.
Finally, add in the dry ingredients (cake flour and baking powder). Fold them in using a rubber or silicone spatula. Right before they are fully incorporated, add the chopped cranberries and walnuts. Fold in until the mixture is just combined.
Step 3: Bake the cranberry banana bread
Pour the batter into the lined bread pan and bake it in your preheated oven for 40 minutes. Then, check the progress of the bread by testing its doneness with a skewer or toothpick.
If it is still very raw, keep baking it for another 15 minutes. Once it has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.
Alternatives Or Substitutes
We highly recommend using fresh cranberries. However, if you cannot seem to get your hands on any, we would recommend using frozen ones instead. And, if you cannot even find frozen ones, dried is a last-resort option
To use frozen cranberries, first, make sure to completely defrost them to get rid of any excess liquid. If you use them in the recipe frozen, it may affect the consistency of the batter and the outcome of the bread.
You can substitute the cake flour with a gluten-free one if you’d like. Just remember that some gluten-free flours create very dense bread. It would be best to choose a light gluten-free flour option.
To make this recipe completely vegan, substitute the salted butter with margarine or another type of vegan butter. And, to substitute the 2 large eggs, simply add another 1/2 cup of mashed ripe bananas. You can also use 1/2 cup of applesauce or use a flax egg.
And of course, finally, you can substitute the regular milk with a vegan milk alternative like soy milk or almond milk. Just remember, every substitute or alternative you choose will affect the final flavor of your bread. So, make sure to choose ones that blend together well.
Tips And Tricks For Making Cranberry Banana Bread
- It is best to use ingredients that are all at room temperature. This way they can incorporate into each other much better and create a smooth uniform batter.
- You have to use the ripest bananas you can find. Even if their skin is black! If the flesh itself isn’t moldy or rotten, you can use them. The ripe bananas are the best to get a completely smooth and lump-free texture and sweet flavor.
- If you want moist banana bread, remember to under-bake it slightly. The cranberry banana bread will continue to bake once it is removed from the oven. To test when the cranberry banana bread is ready, test it using a toothpick, skewer, or cake tester. The toothpick should come out completely clean, but there shouldn’t be raw batter stuck to it. Usually, for moist banana bread, wet crumbs will come out with the toothpick.
- You can also use this batter in muffin cups instead of making an entire loaf. They will make fantastic on-the-go treats and works great for weekly meal planning and portioning.
Servings And Preparation Time For This Cranberry Banana Bread Recipe
|Preparation time||Baking time||Servings|
|15 minutes||40-60 minutes||1 loaf|
Final Thoughts On This Delicious Banana And Cranberry Bread
As you can see, this cranberry banana bread is the perfect snack for any occasion and any time of the year! It’s a great way to use overripe bananas so they don’t go to waste! Let us know what you think about this mouth-watering banana bread below! And, don’t hesitate to share it with your baking buddies too.
Frequenly Asked Questions
Do I drain frozen bananas for banana bread?
When you thaw frozen bananas, there will sometimes be a lot of liquid. Keep this liquid and use it instead of the milk. It has a ton of flavor that will also help enhance the banana bread.
Can I use black bananas for banana bread?
You can definitely use black bananas for banana bread. We even recommend that you do! These bananas are extremely ripe and will mash into a smooth consistency very easily. This will help prevent a chunky loaf. Just make sure that the black banana isn't off.
What is the difference between banana loaf and banana cake?
Banana loaf (aka bread) is often made with heavier ingredients like bread flour, fruits, and nuts. It is also served plain with no garnishes or decorations. Banana cake on the other hand is made with light ingredients like whipped egg whites, cake flour, and leavening agents. And, banana cake is served with frostings and decorations.
Cranberry Banana Bread With Walnuts
- 1 Bread pan
- Non-stick baking paper or cooking spray
- Mixing bowls
- 1 Electric hand or stand mixer
- 1 Rubber or silicone spatula
- 1 Cooling wire rack
- First, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the oven rack in the middle. Next, line a bread pan with non-stick baking paper. Alternatively, spray it with non-stick baking or cooking spray.
- Start by creaming together the brown sugar and salted butter until it becomes light and fluffy. Then add the completely mashed banana and mix it in well. Add the milk and eggs to the banana mixture. Keep mixing until you have a uniform batter. Finally, add in the dry ingredients (cake flour and baking powder). Fold them in using a rubber or silicone spatula. Right before they are fully incorporated, add the chopped cranberries and walnuts. Fold in until the mixture is just combined.
- Pour the batter into the lined bread pan and bake it in your preheated oven for 40 minutes. Then, check the progress of the bread by testing its doneness with a skewer or toothpick. If it is still very raw, keep baking it for another 15 minutes. Once it has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.